Motorized-Drive Stretcher Evaluation Test Methods
August 13, 2014 | Evaluations & Guidance
Here's what ECRI Institute believes a motorized-drive stretchers/stretcher-chair should be able to do, and how we test each unit's performance. Criteria are divided into two categories: movement tests and stationary tests.
Unless otherwise noted, all tests are performed three times on all stretchers, each time with a different load: once with zero load, once with a 250 lb load, and once with a maximum-weight-capacity load. Sandbags are used for weight; the weight is distributed to simulate patient load. Forty-five percent of the weight is evenly distributed on the back section, 25% on the seat section, and 30% on the leg sections. These values are based on the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC) specification for the distribution of weight for safe-working-load tests for hospital beds.  All tests are done in the stretcher position, with zero incline angle and at a comfortable pushing height for the operator. Additionally, all tests for stretchers that can be converted to a chair position are done again in the chair position. All tests are performed on tile flooring unless otherwise noted.
All movement tests are done both with and without the motorized drive unless otherwise noted. Casters start parallel to the direction of initial movement for all tests. If one or more casters has the option to lock into a parallel position, then tests are done again with these casters locked. Tests conducted while using the motorized drive are done at the maximum motorized-drive speed unless otherwise noted. Tests conducted without the use of the motorized drive are done at a steady walking pace (about 1.5 m/sec). Operators practice walking at 1.5 m/sec by walking a stretch of 9 m at about 6 sec before beginning the test. Operators also practice maneuvering the stretcher so that they...